Governor Jared Polis signed HB 23-1337, sponsored by Representative Lukens (D-District 26), Representative Valdez (D-District 5), Senator Roberts (D-District 8) and Senator Hansen (D-District 31), to update Colorado’s community solar gardens (CSG) program to ensure subscribers receive stable bill credits from utilities.
“By working together with the solar industry and utilities, this law stabilizes the bill credit so the customer has certainty about how much they can save on their electricity bills. It is this stability that will have a positive impact on people and small businesses who are interested in entering this market. By subscribing to a community solar garden, you save money on your monthly bills while being part of the solar economy,” said Rep. Lukens.
Community solar gardens are off-site solar facilities where customers can sign up for a subscription for a share of the electricity produced to help both offset their energy use and realize savings on their monthly utility bill. In Colorado, bill credits have experienced some instability over the last few years, with community solar subscribers’ credit rates declining even though retail electricity rates have gone up. HB 23-1137 thoughtfully addresses this issue and ensures all Coloradans, including renters, can participate in the clean energy transition.
Under current law, community solar subscribers receive a bill credit that varies annually. With this new law, CSG subscribers can choose to either lock in their net metering credit rate at time of securing program capacity or to have a variable rate that is determined by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) annually. Additionally, the law will ensure that CSG subscribers pay into public benefit riders that are used to fund vital state programs, such as low-income bill assistance and clean energy technology programs.
“Coloradans have already experienced success with their first in the nation CSG programs. But recently, some updates from PUC on methodology for calculating credits were leaving customers uncertain on the amount of bill savings they’d receive. This new bill will help alleviate those issues by giving consumers choice — and ensure community solar is accessible to all those Coloradans who want it,” said Kevin Cray, Senior Regional Director Policy and Government Affairs (Mountain West) at Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA).
News item from CCSA